r. Zazie co-produces all her albums.
She was nicknamed "Zazie" in reference to the title character of the Raymond Queneau novel, Zazie dans le metro. Her mother was a music teacher and her father, Hervé de Truchis de Varennes, an architect. At home, they listened to Georges Brassens, Jacques Brel and Barbara, as well as classical music.
Zazie practiced the violin for ten years, as well as the piano and guitar. Her attraction to writing grew gradually. At the age of four she wrote her first song, and her first play at eight.
After receiving her baccalauréat in literature at sixteen, she first studied kinesiotherapy, then foreign languages (English, Spanish and Japanese). She then began a modeling career and, for ten years, she participated in fashion shows with Yves Saint-Laurent, Karl Lagerfeld and Kenzo. Tired by the fashion world, she had the opportunity to perform choirs on a song by Fabrice Guinar. She appeared for the first time on television as a singer with Alain Lanty and accompanied Pierre Cosso on saxophone. Her particular voice also allowed her to work in radio advertising (Opel, Cochonou, Martini) and television advertising (L'Oreal, Saint-Moret, etc.). The French humorist group Les Nuls asked her to participate in a fake advertisement.
1993: the first album
In 1990, Zazie tried to start a musical career. She signed a contract with Phonogram in 1991. In 1992 she released Je, tu, ils, her first album recorded in the studios of Peter Gabriel. She collaborated for the first time with Pascal Obispo on the song "Un, deux, trois, soleil". She wrote almost all the tracks of the album and participated in the composition. The album had minor success, and the single "Sucré salé" was ranked #46 on the Top 50 (French SNEP Singles Chart). The following year, Zazie was awarded 'Best New Female Pop Artist of the Year' (révélation variétés féminine de l’année) at the Victoires de la musique. The other two singles from the albums were much less successful, but the singer's career was launched. Her record label agreed to sign for a second album.
Her songs range from upbeat rock or pop songs to languid down tempo tunes and are characterised by the wit of their lyrics based on puns, alliterations, homophonies and double entendres.
From 1995: Success
Zazie, Paris, 6 October 2009
In 1995, she released her second album Zen, which was co-written by and co-produced with Vincent-Marie Bouvot. The album produced the singles "Zen" and "Homme sweet homme". Her 1996 single "Un point c'est toi" from the same album was discussed on Canada's MuchMusic TV program Too Much 4 Much due to its controversial content. Ultimately, the discussion panel deemed the video okay for audiences. In the video, a group of four smitten women, including Zazie, follow a pair of men down to a lake. There, the two men strip off their clothes and swim in the water. Zazie fantasizes about undressing one of the men and kissing him. However, her fantasies are spoiled as the two men kiss each other.
In 1997, Pascal Obispo and Zazie released the single "Les meilleurs ennemis".
Her 1998 album Made in Love was co-produced by Ali Staton, Pierre Jaconelli, and herself. The album photos were taken by fashion designer Jean-Baptiste Mondino. The songs "Ça fait mal et ça fait rien", "Tous des anges", and "Tout le monde" were released as singles. This album was followed by a live album, Made in Live, the next year. In 1999 she also wrote a song for Jane Birkin.
In 2001, Zazie teamed up with Axel Bauer on the single "À ma place". It was her most successful single in France, reaching number four on the French charts.
Zazie once again addressed homosexuality on her 2002 single "Adam et Yves" from her 2001 album La Zizanie. This album was produced solely by Pierre Jaconelli. Other singles included "Rue de la paix" and "Danse avec les loops". In 2003, she released another live album, Ze Live.
Her 2004 album Rodéo was co-produced with Jean-Pierre Pilot and Philippe Paradis. The video for the single "Excuse-moi" features Zazie playing the role of an Indian woman who leaves her cheating husband. She followed this album up with a live album, Rodéo Tour in 2006.
Her sixth album, Totem, was released in February 2007. Like her previous album, it was co-produced with Jean-Pierre Pilot and Philippe Paradis. The "Totem Tour" began on 1 July.
Also in 2007, she wrote several songs for Christophe Willem's album, Inventaire.
She is noted for her playful use of language, which has led to the coining of the French word zazisme, or "Zazie-ism".
June 2010 saw the release of a new single "Avant l'amour" (Before Love). This is the first single from a forthcoming album, "Za7ie". To date, it has reached #54 on the French SNEP radio airplay chart. "Za7ie" is not just an album, it's a project. There will be 49 songs. A shorter version with 14 songs will be released in late September, with the 49 song project to be released in late November.